GATC Outreach Initiatives

GATC Outreach Initiatives

by Community Outreach Director Tom Ottinger Part of the mission of the Georgia Appalachian Trail ...

Educating Young Visitors at the Hike Inn

Educating Young Visitors at the Hike Inn

by Richard Judy, AERS Board President Nothing is more important to the Len Foote Hike Inn’s missi...

GATC Receives TrueBlue Community Award

GATC Receives TrueBlue Community Award

GATC was recently honored by Georgia Natural Gas with a TrueBlue Community Award in recognition of t...

  • GATC Outreach Initiatives

    GATC Outreach Initiatives

    Monday, 19 August 2013 20:13
  • Educating Young Visitors at the Hike Inn

    Educating Young Visitors at the Hike Inn

    Friday, 11 October 2013 19:38
  • GATC Receives TrueBlue Community Award

    GATC Receives TrueBlue Community Award

    Thursday, 14 November 2013 00:56

Celebrate New Year's at Vogel State Park

Vogel State Park has requested support from the Blairsville-Union County A.T. Community to lead a “First Day” hike on the Bear Hair Trail for the public, so...

Join us to celebrate the NEW YEAR on January 1, 2014, with a healthy and invigorating hike on the beautiful Bear Hair Trail in one of Georgia’s favorite state parks.  Please dress for the weather with layered clothing, sturdy shoes or hiking boots, a hat, drinking water, a trail snack, and a trail lunch if desired.  Include rain gear if indicated and consider using a sturdy hiking stick.

We will plan to meet in the main parking area between the Park Office and the lake at 9:00 AM.  The hike will be a little over 4 miles in length and will be at a leisurely pace, with some optional add-ons for those who are interested.   We plan to stop at a beautiful overlook with a spectacular view of Vogel’s Lake Trahlyta.  This hike will be guided by experienced hikers from the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club (GATC) and Mountain High Hikers (MHH) with assistance from the staff of Vogel State Park.  The event is open to the public!

For more information, please call the Vogel State Park Office at: 706-745-2628 or contact GATC Member Dayton Miller at 706-835-1755


Mountain Crossings Wecomes New Management


At Neel Gap, Georgia is fortunate to have one of the most unique and well-recognized landmarks along the entire Appalachian Trail.  The historic Walasi-Yi Center at Neel Gap is the only place where the A.T. passes through a building!  This unique structure, constructed during the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, is also the home to Mountain Crossings – a locally owned store specializing in hiking gear and supplies, outdoor apparel, gifts, books, refreshments, and a newly renovated hiker’s hostel.  Mountain Crossings was sold to Georganna Morton and Logan Seamon just a few days ago.  Georganna and Logan thru-hiked the A.T. four years ago.  Georganna (who goes by “George”) is a member of the Blairsville – Union County Appalachian Trail Advisory Committee.

Mountain Crossings is a well known and welcoming destination for day hikers, section hikers, and thru hikers on the A.T.  Mountain Crossings, under the leadership of George and Logan, has just been accepted among the first officially designated A.T. Community Supporters by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.  George and Logan are committed to serving the special needs of the hiking community and they will help promote local hiking clubs such as the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club (GATC) and Mountain High Hikers (MHH).  They provide discounts for ATC members, mail drop services for hikers, internet access, information and guidance to hikers and backpackers, as well as clean accommodations in their newly renovated hostel.  Stop by and congratulate George and Logan as they take the helm of Mountain Crossings!


GATC Annual Business Meeting

The GATC Annual Business Meeting was held on Saturday, October 12.  The membership heard updates on the A.T. license tag from GA Representative John Carson.  John Odell and Eric Graves provided updates from ATC and the Len Foote Hike Inn respectively.  Current GATC Board members spoke about GATC activities and initiatives for 2013, as well as plans for 2014.  The slate of nominees for the 2014 Board of Directors was approved.

Representing ATC, John Odell presented the NPS Silver Service awards that had been announced at the ATC biennial meeting in July.  This award recognizes 25 years of service to GATC and/or ATC.  Six GATC members were recognized.  (Pictured, left to right:  Martha Miller, Jud Germon, John Odell of ATC, Darleen Jarman, Bruce Northrup, and Shelley Rose.  Not pictured:  Dick Hurd)


Trails Supervisor Don Hicks presented the annual T-shirt (courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service) to those trail maintainers who had performed six or more work days.  For those who had done even more trail work, additional gifts were awarded.  He also presented District Overseer of the Year awards, as well as the Trail Worker of the Year award.  This year's honoree was Roy Stallings.


Hunting Season

Don't Shoot Orange VestDeer hunting season begins in north Georgia in October -- the 12th for primitive weapons and the 19th for rifle.  We encourage hikers to take extra precautions when hiking in north Georgia in the coming months.  Wear a blaze orange hat and jacket or pack cover, hike in groups, and be particularly cautious in the early morning or at dusk when visibility isn't as good.  For more information about hunting seasons and locations, visit the Georgia Department of Natural Resources website.


AT Book Named Nature Book of the Year

The Appalachian Trail: Celebrating America’s Hiking Trail was named 2012 Book of the Year in the adult nonfiction/nature category by ForeWord Reviews.  Published by Rizzoli International in celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.), the book documents the significance of the A.T with historical essays and full-color photos.  It explores America’s best known hiking path in detail and includes 300 contemporary photos of scenes on the Trail as well as previously unpublished historical photos, documents, and maps from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) archives.

The ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year award is an effort to celebrate the best independently published books each year. The Book of the Year awards process asks a jury of readers, librarians and booksellers to select and review titles in areas of their personal expertise. Their decisions take into consideration editorial excellence, professional production, originality of the narrative, author credentials relative to the book, and the value the title adds to its genre.

For more information, or to order a copy of the book, visit the ATC Trail Store.


Forest Service Launches Mobile App

The Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests have announced the launch of their mobile app with up-to-date information about the two Forests in Georgia including information about hiking, biking, camping, facilities, etc in and around 49 recreation sites.  The free app is available for both Apple and Android smart phones and tablets.  For more information, see the C-ONF website.


New A.T. Plate Revealed

Just in time for the final phases of the revenue sharing legislation process, a new Georgia A.T. tag design has been approved.  The design process began about a year ago when we were given approval to create a design that would cover the whole plate.  GATC member Jeff Supper created the design which has now been approved.  Tax Commissioners and Tag Offices throughout the state have been notified that the design is new and orders are being accepted.  The old tag will no longer be issued, however they will remain in circulation until vehicle owners surrender the them.

After a long process, legislation was finally passed in both houses on the final day of the 2013 legislative session that would provide for sharing of revenue from these tags.  The legislation would allow for $10 from each tag to be shared with ATC/GATC.  The revenue shared through this program would be used to protect the Appalachian Trail in Georgia and to provide education and outreach programs.  The bill now awaits Governor Deal's signature.

Thanks to all GATC members who contacted their representatives and senators about this legislation. Special thanks go to Scott Barnes, Frank Wright and Dayton Miller who worked tirelessly behind the scenes for several years to push this legislation forward.


Co-Trails Initiative

The U.S. Forest Service, in collaboration with a variety of forest user groups, has created a working group of forest users to develop trail systems within the Forest that meet various user needs, are maintainable on a long-term basis, and are ecologically sustainable.  For more information on the initiative and the upcoming workshops and events, see

See also the article in the December 2 AJC

Wilderness Act - 50th Anniversary!
Wilderness Act - 50th Anniversary!

1964 - 2014


On September 3, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Wilderness Act, thereby establishing our National Wilderness Preservation System.  On September 3, 2014, lovers of wild lands will celebrate the 50th birthday of this landmark event that made history — its grand, golden anniversary.

Presidential Ponderings
Presidential Ponderings

January, 2014

Traditionally, a new year is the time for us all to assess the year past and make a list of resolutions for the coming year.  As the GATC moves into 2014, it is good to reflect on three things:  where we have been, where we are now, and where we are going.


Road/Trail Closures
Road/Trail Closures

Government Shutdown

As of October 17, 2013, with the end of the government shutdown, maintenance activities, club hikes, etc on the Appalachian Trail can resume.




Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest

All of the A.T. in Georgia falls within the Forest.

Leave No Trace


Practice the Leave No Trace Seven Principles.


Appalachian Trail Conservancy

ATC manages all aspects of the A.T. from Georgia to Maine.


Georgia Appalachian Trail Club
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